This was stated at a hearing in the Senate by a special representative of the State Department, nominated for the post of Deputy Secretary of State for Arms Control.
State Department Special Representative Marshall Billingsley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States is lagging behind Russia and China in developing hypersonic missiles.
Billingsley, nominated for the post of undersecretary of state for arms control, suggested that the military should undertake broad efforts to modernize the American nuclear arsenal, in particular, to create leverage that will force both Moscow and Beijing to agree to new arms control treaties..
“We urgently need to test a number of new hypersonic planing technologies,” he said during his approval hearings. “We are, I think, fair to say, lagging behind when it comes, in particular, about the Chinese program, and the Russians have actually already deployed nuclear hypersonic weapons …”
Billingsley is trying to mediate the renewal of the New Strategic Arms Treaty, the most significant arms control treaty in existence, which limits the stockpile of Russian and American nuclear weapons. Administration officials have made it clear that they will allow this treaty to expire if China refuses to join the negotiations and strike a trilateral deal, because Beijing is now rapidly expanding its arsenal of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons..
“Hypersound offers a number of benefits,” he said, adding that the US only wants to develop missiles that can carry conventional weapons, not nuclear warheads. “I think they will be important equalizers for us, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. “.
Chinese officials have rejected US calls for talks, arguing that both Russia and the US have much larger nuclear arsenals. In addition, Russia has deployed medium-range cruise missiles in Europe in violation of the basic ban on such weapons since the Cold War, and is also developing less powerful nuclear weapons, which Billingsley described as an obvious attempt to use nuclear warheads “without provoking a full-scale nuclear war.”.
“This is not a theoretical problem with the Russians, given that they have shown a willingness to repeatedly invade other countries,” Billingsley said. “Our ability to negotiate effective arms control actually goes hand in hand with a powerful modernization program.”.
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